Another stray-bullet victim in Paterson as woman is shot in her home

·3 min read

PATERSON — A 34-year-old woman was struck by multiple gunshots from the street while she was inside her second-floor apartment Wednesday night, making her the second stray-bullet victim in the city's 4th Ward in eight days, authorities said.

The woman, a Rosa Parks Boulevard resident whose name has not been made public, suffered non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Paterson’s previous victim of stray gunfire, 18-year-old Robert Cuadra, was killed when he was caught in the crossfire of an apparent shootout on Godwin Avenue on Jan. 19 as he helped his grandmother with groceries.

Paterson has seen eight shootings in January, continuing a three-year spike in gun violence.

Bullet marks are scattered along the side of the apartment building where the woman was shot at 11:18 p.m. Wednesday.

Authorities said the gunfire came from about a block away, at the corner of Rosa Parks and Warren Street. The scene is about a block from where 12-year-old Genesis Rincon was killed by a stray bullet as she rode her scooter in July 2014.

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Neighbors react

Omar Sallam was in the apartment just below where the 34-year-old was shot. He said he was sound asleep and the gunfire awakened him.

“I’m not sure what time it was last night,” the 60-year-old said. “I heard the shots and I immediately hit the floor along with my fiancée.”

Paterson police were at the scene of a fatal shooting near the intersection of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Franklin Street in Paterson  around 10 p.m. on July 3, 2021.
Paterson police were at the scene of a fatal shooting near the intersection of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Franklin Street in Paterson around 10 p.m. on July 3, 2021.

Sallam said he and his partner heard police sirens and saw multiple lights flashing but stayed in their apartment.

Sallam’s fiancée, who declined to provide her name, lives on the first floor. She said the victim has two children, a teenager and a younger child. The fiancée said she feels terrible about what happened to her upstairs neighbor, whom she described as “a very loving and caring person.”

Sallam and his partner said that this was not the first time they experienced gunfire at their residence.

“About five years ago, we were sitting in the living room and watching television,” Sallam recalled. “A shot came through the window and lodged in the couch. The bullet casing is still in there.”

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Councilwoman Ruby Cotton, who represents the 4th Ward, where the shooting happened, said weapons have been finding their way into the hands of gun novices.

“They get these guns, and most of them don’t even know how to shoot them,” Cotton said. “Their stray bullets can hit anybody.”

Sallam said the young men who hang out in the area don’t live there.

“Why don’t they go to where they live and shoot up where their own mothers and grandmothers live?” he asked.

But Sallam said the neighborhood is better than it was when the two of them moved there six years ago.

“There used to be 10 or 15 guys that always hung around on the corner,” he said. “Now that doesn’t happen like it used to.”

During the past several years, the state Attorney General’s Office has conducted two separate crackdowns on what authorities said were gangs that operated in the area, the 4K set of the Bloods.

One of those operations resulted in the arrests of about 12 alleged 4K members in December 2017 and the second in 10 arrests in August 2019.

Ed Rumley is a contributing writer for Paterson Press.

Joe Malinconico is editor of Paterson Press.

Email: editor@patersonpress.com

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Stray bullet injures Paterson NJ woman in latest shooting